Eco-Luggage rethinks the way we carry during travel or displacement, with easily detachable, multi-use components. We put design for disassembly at the core of their approach to Eco-Luggage. Because it can be easily disassembled, individual parts can be repaired or replaced as needed - and at the end of use, they can be cycled as biological and technical nutrients.
Winner of Best Professional Project, Cradle to Cradle design Challenge.
People now is traveling more than before due to a several causes; the growing market of low cost airlines, the easy finding and booking travels and accommodation platforms, and a growing global economy is encouraging people to travel more.
So the market of luggage is becoming more and more extensive with new models and solutions coming out every day. Designed to be resistant to common use and impact , the luggage and its components last in time in time too. But we don’t think of how the luggage was made and what happens to it once is not longer useful.
In a society that consumes and disposes unaware of the hazardous materials our products are made of and the processes required to fabricate them and how and where they’re going to end, the cycle of life of all this new luggage with more resistant material is a real problem.
Luggage is not only used in travel situations, often is used as a way of transport of goods in small distances, when we move houses for example. Out of this occasions, the luggage remains useless, taking space in our homes.
HOW TO DESIGN AN ECO-LUGGAGE
We decided to designed an alternative to conventional luggage solutions. A new way of carrying our things during travel or displacement.
Eco-luggage can be easily detached, allowing multiple uses, the structure can be use separately as a carrying trolley. The bag can be use without the structure if required.
This bag has a folding method inspired by the Japanese Furoshiki technique of carrying cloth or other things in a wrapping cloth, we select the folding and sewing for the joinings so we managed to avoid the use of closing system like velcro, zipper, rivet, or glue in order to be able to disassemble and to compost the fabric part easily.
This design enables an easy storage when the luggage is not in use; a flat package that will occupy less space in commercial storage and distribution; and of course easy upcycle of each component. We carefully select four base materials: Aluminum and bamboo for the structure,hemp fabric colored with natural plant dyes, and Guayule based rubber for the wheels. The aluminum carabiner that helps closing the bag comes form reused climbing equipment.
Each component can be cycled separately and be used as a biological or technical nutrient.
These materials and its innovative design gives the Eco-Luggage a new, never seen before, ecological look in the not-yet-explored market of luggage.
REUTILISATION CYCLE AND BUSINESS MODEL
Once the luggage has reached the end of its life, the company will support a recuperation system in order to recover the components. The easy separation of each component makes the upcycle of each part more efficiently, it could be made by the consumer itself, in order to keep the parts that are still useful and buy only the parts that required changing, that wish to be customized or repaired. When the components are returned back as an ensemble or separate, there’s the option of receiving a bond of discount for the next purchase for an article, allowing the customer to benefit for the cycle and take action beyond consuming C2C products.
The hemp, and bamboo are 100% biodegradable and would be broken down at a local municipality-composting site. The non-toxic bio-dyes used on the fabric and thread would naturally decompose as well, without harm to the environment. The bio nutrients returned back to the soil would provide food for new seeds to germinate. Once harvested the hemp and bamboo could then be sent through the manufacturing process once again to create more fabric and structure. On the technical nutrient side, aluminum can be infinitely recycled. The aluminum parts can be dropped into curbside, recycling bins, or at local recycling dropoff. Once collected and crushed, the aluminum will be melted into ingots. In a rather short time the aluminum can be used to make new products or up-cycled to the manufacturing site to be used for making new pieces. The carabiner is collected locally from climbing association or indoor rock climbing clubs when the item is no longer usable.
We choose bamboo for the structure due to its great performances in many fields. Bamboo is a very fast growing plant, it can be harvested in one to five years and is able to grow in many parts of the globe. This specific feature ables to minimize the distance between the harvesting point and the factory place that transforms it into material. Bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide and releases 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere than an equivalent stand of hardwood
trees. The strength and solidity of this material is also very good. Is also cheap, it gives the opportunity to lower the price of the object. The bamboo is kept raw and there is no specific treatment on it. We are using only straight section. The links parts and the handle are done in Aluminum. Even if the embodied energy required to manufacture the aluminum pieces is 211 GJ per tonne, compared to 22.7 GJ per tonne for steel. Its light weight property, rigidity and its infinity recycle capacity makes it perfect for this product. The bearings are made of steel, which also has a full capacity to be recycle.
The bag and yarn are made from Hemp, that is by it nature an ecological plant. Human is producing hemp for decades but lately we just realized how interesting is this plant to make green fabrics. It has no need of fertilizers, and no necessity of using weedkilling. It grows fast and does not need a lot of sun or water and it purifies the soil. Every part, is used from the seed for human or animals food to the fiber that can be used in many fields from construction industry to cloth or aeronautic. The natural plant dyes used to colored the hemp are higher than average absorption rate. This means less water is required in the rinse process and less dye runs off in the water; therefore, the dyes have a lower impact on the environment.
The wheels are made guayule based rubber that offers renewable sustainability because it is from a domestic plant-based resource and meets the critical
performance standards necessary for many medical, industrial and consumer applications and exceeds performance standards of many synthetic lattices.
Hemp fabric : Density : 650 g.m2, weight: 884 g
Percentage of the weight in the final product : 57.85 %
Bamboo :Average density : 650 kg.m3, weight: 310 g
Percentage of the weight in the final product : 20.29 %
Guayule : Density : 950 kg.m3, weight . 30 g
Percentage of the weight in the final product : 1.96 %
Weight biological : 1224 g Percentage total : 80.11 %
Aluminum: Density 2700 kg.m3, weight : 280 g
Percentage of the weight in the final product : 18.32 %
Steel: Density : 8000 kg.m3, weight : 24 g
Percentage of the weight in the final product : 1,57 %
Weight Technical : 304 g Percentage total : 19.89 %
TOTAL WEIGHT : 1528 g
Recycling percentage based on French industry. Calculus :
((89.9x1) + (100x2))/3 = 96.6
HEMP FABRIC :
Organic hemp plant grows without the need of herbicides and pesticides and is not chemically treated during the entire production process. Anti-Microbial Properties: Naturally Inherent throughout the plant. Fiber is mechanically combed separating the short and long fiber. Starch is used as a sizing agent. Fire rating Cal 117, NFPA 701, Color Fastness AATCC16.
Source : Envirotextile, Hemp fabric MSDS
Aluminum is an inert material. NFPA health score 0. This chemical is considered non hazardous according to GHS classifications for the Hazard Communication Standard. Aluminum, as dust, is a flammable solid. Powder Autoignition Temperature: 760° C When heated to decomposition, may emit toxic fumes. Contact with acids liberates flammable hydrogen gas. Contact with water generates heat. Avoid contact with acids, acid chlorides, oxidizers, and halogens.
Life: Indefinite, if stored properly.
Source Flinn scientific, Inc.
Bamboo is biologically inert if grown without pesticide, The only health hazard is related with dust during manufacturing, Bamboo is a natural and safe material. There is no treatment on the raw material.
Source Msds from bamboo products
NATURAL PLANT DIES
Natural plant dyes: do not contain heavy metals (like chrome, copper and zinc), nor do they require toxic chemical mordants to fix them to the fiber. The chemical product of the dye itself depends of the colour. Use of certified vegetables.
Source : Manufacturer of certified dyes MSDS
This material come from a plant that originally grows in mexico. Its has an absence of allergenic latex proteins and offers renewable sustainability because it is resourced from a domestic plant-based resource.
Steel is an alloy, many components take parts in the manufacturing. It is a complex material, and there is some risks during the manufacturing. Hazards associated with carbon steel relate to the metal compounds that can be emitted as airborne contaminants under certain processing conditions. Exposures to high concentrations of metallic fumes or dusts may result in irritation of the respiratory tract and/or sensitization of the lungs and other mucous membranes. Skin contact with dust may cause irritation or sensitization, possibly leading to dermatitis. We are using steel for bearings in order to give a better lifetime and a more comfortable use, however some different materials could be considered.
Source : Steel producers MSDS from different companies as ArcelorMittal